Citizens of the Greek Island of Lesbos burned down a United Nations migrant reception center on their island Sunday amidst a wave of illegal immigrants arriving from Turkey.
Lesbos is located in the Aegean Sea, just miles away from the territory of Turkey. The island has been besieged by arrivals of migrant boats, filled with Middle Eastern refugees seeking to seek asylum in the European Union.
Video of the event showed a UN facility aflame.
Greeks on Lesbos are burning down a UNCHR Migrant reception centrepic.twitter.com/0FjhqMLA6a
— Old Holborn ✘ (@Holbornlolz) March 1, 2020
Reports on the incident reveal that the migrant facility was empty and no one was injured in its destruction by the locals. It’s possible that the Greek islanders hoped to avoid the UN from using the facility to house even more migrants from Turkey, as the large populations of those hoping to seek asylum in Europe have proven detrimental to quality of life and public resources on the island.
Residents of the island are also staging large-scale protests against the mass arrival of dubious ‘refugees.’ The island’s daily life has been radically altered by intermittent arrival of Middle Eastern refugees on dinghies for years.
New inflows of migrants have been unleashed by Turkey in recent days, with the nation’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hoping to punish European nations for their reaction to his country’s military intervention in Turkey.
Migrants are massing on the nation’s continental European border with Greece. They had previously been prevented from traveling to Turkey’s European territory under an agreement between Turkey and the EU, which provided funding for Turkey to house the migrants and so-called refugees in return for halting their movement.
The Greek Army has been deployed along with local police in preparation for attempts by migrants to cross the border en masse.
Should the situation grow in magnitude, we could soon be witnessing a repeat of the destabilizing and chaotic movements of people into Europe seen in 2015. Such a development would represent a failure of European governments to deliver the basic border security and national sovereignty demanded by their citizens, who began to vote for populist political movements shortly after the massive migrant arrivals of 2015.
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Pope Francis Prays For Coronavirus Relief in Unprecedented Empty Vatican Audience
The Pope appeared alone.
Pope Francis prayed that God would comfort Italy and the world in the midst of the raging Chinese coronavirus epidemic, appearing in an unprecedented Vatican audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Papal events at the Vatican are almost always filled with pilgrims and the faithful, but the ceremony overseen by the Pope was entirely empty on account of the strict quarantine imposed on Italy as the nation reels from an unmatched death count from the disease.
Imagery of the event revealed the striking emptiness of the Vatican square, the overcast and rainy weather adding to the solemn nature of the papal event.
These aesthetics are something else. pic.twitter.com/kj8MMY148l
— Richard #StayHome (@OmnipotensGamer) March 27, 2020
“May God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace,” said the Pope at the event. “Lord, bless the world. Give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts.”
The Pope encouraged prayer from the faithful for those directly involved in the response to the historic health epidemic- healthcare workers, doctors, grocery employees, police and volunteers.
The Pope chose to deliver the traditional ‘Urbi et Orbi’ address at the event, a Vatican tradition that is usually reserved for Christmas and Easter. The prayer implied the likely cancellation of Vatican Easter proceedings, with the devastation caused by the coronavirus in Italy likely precluding any major gatherings within the coming months, at least. Reports indicate that the Pope will celebrate traditional Good Friday and Easter Sunday masses, but alone, in a manner similar to Friday’s papal appearance.
Catholic Sunday Masses have been entirely cancelled in Italy, a nearly entirely unprecedented development that speaks to the gravity of the situation in the disease-stricken country. The nation had its worst day in terms of casualties on Friday, with deaths rising to 9,134, with a total national count of almost 87,000.
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